Gr-1int CD11B+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells accumulate in corneal allograft and improve corneal allograft survival

Wungrak Choi, Yong Woo Ji, Hwa Yong Ham, Areum Yeo, Hyemi Noh, Su Eon Jin, Jong Suk Song, Hyeon Chang Kim, Eung Kwon Kim, Hyung Keun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We identified the characteristics of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and investigated their mechanism of induction and their functional role in allograft rejection using a murine corneal allograft model. In mice, MDSCs coexpress CD11b and myeloid differentiation antigen Gr-1. Gr-1+CD11b+cells infiltrated allografted corneas between 4 d and 4 wk after surgery; however, the frequencies of Gr-1+CD11b+cells were not different between accepted and rejected allografts or in peripheral blood or BM. Of interest, Gr-1intCD11b+cells, but not Gr-1hiCD11b+cells, infiltrated the accepted graft early after surgery and expressed high levels of immunosuppressive cytokines, including IL-10, TGF-β, and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand. This population remained until 4 wk after surgery. In vitro, only high dose (>100 ng/ml) of IFN-γ plus GM-CSF could induce immunosuppressive cytokine expression in Gr-1intCD11b+ cells. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of Gr-1intCD11b+cells reduced T cell infiltration, which improved graft survival. In conclusion, high-dose IFN-γ in allograft areas is essential for development of Gr-1intCD11b+ MDSCs in corneal allografts, and subtle environmental changes in the early period of the allograft can result in a large difference in graft survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1453-1463
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Advanced Science Research Program (Grant NRF-2015R1A2A2A04002684) through the National Research Foundation of Korea and was partially supported by a grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute, funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI13C0055). The authors thank Daniel R. Saban, PhD, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA, and Lark Kyun Kim, PhD, Yonsei University School of Medicine, Severance Biomedical Science Institute, Seoul, Korea, for excellent discussion that assisted in data analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© Society for Leukocyte Biology.


  • Adoptive transfer
  • Interferon-γ (IFN-γ)
  • Keratoplasty
  • Myeloid differentiation antigen Gr-1
  • TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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